Knuckles range: CEA to send report to President

Published : 9:09 am  July 13, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 

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By Kalathma Jayawardhane 

 
The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) yesterday said it would send a report to President Maithripala Sirisena on the allegations reported on transferring 21,000 acres of land in the Knuckles Mountain Range to a minister’s associates to carry out several projects.   


CEA Chairman Chandraratne Pallegama told at a special meeting held on the issues related to the Knuckles Mountain Range that all authorities concerned should take immediate steps to protect this forest range which was of global importance.   


He said however no authority had made any requests to the CEA to carry out the alleged projects in the Knuckles Mountain Range so far.   


“With the collaboration of all authorities concerned, we will be compiling a report on this matter, and it will be referred to President Maithripala Sirisena. Knuckles Conservation Forest is recognised as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO, hence, it should be protected accordingly,” he said.   


“Knuckles Conservation Forest is the main catchment source of the Moragahakanda and Kaluganga water supply project. It is also one of the main catchment areas of the Mahaweli project with high biodiversity. Sri Lanka is one of the 34 countries which has been identified as ‘Biodiversity-Hotspot’,” he added.   


CEA Chairman Pallegama said that according to the data and statistics collected from concerned authorities regards to the Knuckles Mountain Range’s issue which asserts that there had been no land transferring to any party in any manner.   


“Suggestions have come up to accurately mark the boundary of the Knuckles Conservation Forest and to establish a legal background for the buffer zone which was declared by the UNESCO on this range. We will work on them,” he said.   

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